Alaska News

Director of Alaska State Troopers retires after 17 months in the job

PALMER — The top official at the Alaska State Troopers retired effective Monday.

Col. Hans Brinke spent almost 28 years with the agency — including heading up a Palmer-based detachment — but had served as its director only since May 2017, officials say.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Jonathon Taylor said in an email Tuesday that he wasn't authorized to comment beyond the basic facts because "separations are considered personnel matters."

The department designated Maj. Andrew Greenstreet as acting troopers director, Taylor said.

Brinke couldn't immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

He leaves as the agency struggles to hire and retain troopers.

Gov. Bill Walker, up for re-election in November, in late August announced a pay increase aimed at matching other law enforcement agencies, such as the Anchorage Police Department. Some troopers say retention has also been hurt by the state's decision to end pensions for employees in 2006.

Public Safety also unveiled a new troopers logo and motto at the Alaska State Fair, to praise from some in the public but censure from retired troopers who say the change is window dressing that doesn't address low morale.